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Taoyuan City to lead urban freight initiative

ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability and Taoyuan City, Taiwan have launched the world’s first EcoLogistics community, designed to deliver sustainable urban freight initiatives for cities across the globe.

Starting in early 2020, the community will aim to increase the awareness of sustainable urban freight by organising collective learning exercises, peer-to-peer exchanges and joint activities between cities while supporting lessons learned on achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) from local governments.

Globally, urban freight represents up to 25 percent of vehicles in cities, takes 40 percent of motorised road space and contributes up to 40 percent of urban transport-related CO2 emissions.

The community also plans to use the integration of technology, policies and planning as a vehicle for environmental, social and economic sustainability in the urban freight sector and encourage ‘collaborative goal setting and action plans through stakeholder engagement and innovations’.

Speaking to Cities Today, Dr Tsu-Jui Cheng, Programme Manager and Global Coordinator for Sustainable Mobility at ICLEI said: “In 2020 the working groups will meet to look at different areas in logistics; such as technology, innovation, regulatory frameworks and safety, but the list could go on and on.

“We’re trying to find a collective voice as to what constitutes sustainability in freight.”

ICLEI currently runs an EcoLogistics initiative involving nine cities in Argentina, Colombia, and India, which is supported by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety through the International Climate Initiative (IKI).

The project began in 2017 and focuses on facilitating governmental and non-governmental actors to build strategies and policies to promote low-carbon and more sustainable urban freight through local action and national support.

The new community is set to expand this programme on a global scale.

Gino Van Begin, Secretary General of ICLEI said: “Our cities are in competition, not with global cities or emerging areas, but with drastic climate change and ever-increasing urbanisation to conserve our finite natural resources, We cannot afford to stimulate economic growth at the cost of air quality, congestion, safety, social equity and the future of our children.”

The logistics industry is an integral part of Taoyuan city due to its manufacturing sector and major international airport which is the eighth busiest globally in terms freight traffic, according to an Airports Council International report in 2018.

The community’s launch attended by Wen-Tsan Cheng, Mayor of Taoyuan City, and representatives from Kerry TJ Logistics, DHL Global Forwarding Taiwan, Everterminal and Chunghwa Post.